Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Elizabeth City Sunrise

This sunrise was taken (75 total photos) out the galley porthole of our sailboat using my old Canon Digital EOS 30D and a 18-55,, lense. NOTE: Click the image for a larger 1024 x 768 full screen image. Have a beautiful day!

The roses of Fred Fearing, the Rose Buddies of Elizabeth City

Our Island Packet fleet of 3, and where I shot the sunrise from,
Pressing on today and departing Elizabeth Cith, NC for the Alligator River, where we will have to anchor before the Pung Pungo canal of 22 miles. We can't anchor in the canal, and we can't make it from here to the other end in daylight, so we anchor just before the canal.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dismal Swamp Photo Essay

Radeen, master of the lock....
and Reuben IP380 Priority work the lock lines...
A photo essay of today, Oct 19, 2014. Deep Creek Lock to Elizabeth City, NC.

This is a beautiful section of the AICW.

I hope my photos show the true beauty.

Looking down the Dismal Swamp Canal

Looking back at our wake

The VA/NC state line in the Dismal Swamp

Buddy Boat Priority rounds a corner

Buddy Boat IP38 MOONDANCE rounds a bend

IP380 PRIORITY, Reuebn in the lock
The Dismal Swamp Canal, a must do on the AICW trip. It is simply too interesting and to beautiful. Now for a lay day in Elizabeth City....ahhhhhhh

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dismal Not

Norfolk Docks....very commercial....
Norfolk to Elizabeth City via the Dismal Swamp
The Dismal Swamp is not dismal, at least for us to travel by boat. I imagine it was very dismal to dig this canal by hand, but today, it is one of our favorite passages on the east coast. The Chesapeake Bay Great Schooner Race took over both Portsmouth Ferry Basins, so we fueled up and pressed on to the Deep Creek Lock and into the Dismal Swamp Canal. Once in the canal, we decided to take Robert's dock, just out of the lock in the swamp. This dock allowed all three of us, IP380 PRIORITY and IP38 MOONDANCE to tie up and enjoy the later afternoon and evening together, complete with dinner and great conversation aboard MOONDANCE. Tomorrow, we will run the 22 mile canal and exit at the South Mills lock and continue for 19 miles of the Pasquotank River to Elizabeth City, NC. If all goes well, we should arrive Elizabeth City by 5 pm. Otherwise we will simply drop an anchor and spend a night on the river. The weather is perfect, we are so lucky to have mild weather and no storms.

Here are some photos of the Norfolk area;

Sunrise on the Lower Chesapeake Bay

IP38 Moondance under full sail

IP38 MOONDANCE sailing the Lower Bay

Imports, each box is a tractor trailer - 5 high, 20 across, many rows

I always find this crane so interesting

A large ship and tugs passing IP45 SANDERLING at anchor

The Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race

Decision time: Left to VA Cut and Prime Rib, right to Dismal and Elizabeth City

IP380 PRIORITY passing the marsh grasses

IP380 PRIORITY rounds a corner in the river before the Dismal Swamp

Radeen in the Deep Creek Lock

Buddy Boat IP38 MOONDANCE in the lock

7 feet up, we are in the Dismal Canal, thank you ROBERT

The Deep Creek Lock
So, tonight, we will stay here in the Swamp and tomorrow we will run to Elizabeth City. This is a new schedule for us as we were thrown off by the schooners taking the ferry basins. So, no movie theater but we have great friends and a peaceful place to spend the night.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Down the Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay 1 2 3...
You can run the Chesapeake Bay in 24 hours or less, nonstop overnight, or you can anchor each night and then it may take three or four days. Then again, you can spend a lifetime sailing and exploring the Chesapeake Bay. We have sailed this bay since 1986. Now it is a large body of water we must transit to make our way south to Florida and the Bahamas. This bay is comfortable, familiar and we love it. When we return, we always feel at home. Going south, it feels large and it is a real task to break free and to reach Mile Marker Zero of the AICW, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in Norfolk, VA. This year we have a great friend traveling along with us on his IP380 PRIORITY and we also have reconnected with our Bahamsa buddy boat, IP38 MOONDANCE. With Reuben and Bob and Nina along, this trip is even more fun. Cruising is always about the people you meet. This is what makes is so much fun.

IP380 PRIORITY powering south
After the fun of the Annapolis Boat Show, we blasted out of town at 9 a.m. and pointed our bow towards Solomons Island, MD as the weather was going to turn against us. We stayed there for two days as we waited out the frontal passage. This delay was made MUCH more fun because Ron and Mary Ann of IP380 CAVU live there now. Even though they were busy with their own boat, they picked us up for lunch at the Pier, took us for provisions and brought delicious treats to a cruisers' get together on the porch at Zahniser's with Reuben of IP380 PRIORITY, Mark and Margie of IP38 TATTOO II and the crews of several other boats including Solevig and Dragonfly. Sorry we have no photos of all the fun. Thank you, Ron and M.A., for everything!

Now, we are fortunate to have 10 days of dream weather ahead of us to make our way south.

Our Chesapeake run to NC is looking like this:

Annapolis to Solomons
Solomons to Little Bay off Fleets Bay
Little Bay to Fort Monroe
Ft. Monroe to Portsmouth
Portsmouth to Dismal Swamp
Swamp to Elizabeth City
Elizabeth City to Alligator River
River Dunes or Oriental
Beaufort NC, Greg and Kate's....OUR BUDDIES!
after that...we will see.

Beautiful clouds over the sand beach at Little Bay, VA
Our goal is Charleston, SC, by about Nov 3 where we will dock. For now, we will enjoy the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.

Here are some photos of our travels.

Fishing boat as we depart Solomons Island, MD

We call this SUN GLARE and RUSH HOUR on the boat.

Waves and salt spray over the bow onto the windshields

The MD VA State Line, on the water...cool

Buddy Boat IP380 PRIORITY 

Buddy Boat IP38 MOONDANCE crew hits the beach

Little Bay VA sunset

IP380 PRIORITY at sunset

IP38 MOONDANCE at Sunset

We call her YANNIE-NEW and she is running very well.
She had her 25 hour oil change tonite.

Love to see this on the compass....SOUTHBOUND after the boat show
Some have asked us, is it still that much fun? We can't believe it, but it IS FUN, it is WONDERFUL, it is adventurous, and we really feel fortunate to be able to live this dream! Florida here we come, Bahamas here we come.....